UC Berkeley professor and New York Times contributing writer David Kirp’s newest book notes the vast improvements Long Beach schools have made over the past decade in partnership with higher education.
“The headline news comes from Long Beach State, widely known as ‘The Beach,’ where, incredibly, the graduation rate increased two-and-a-half times, from 26 percent in 1999 to 67 percent in 2017,” Kirp wrote in “The College Dropout Scandal,” in which he draws a direct line between CSULB’s success and The Long Beach College Promise.
When it was kicked off a little more than a decade ago, The Promise initiative started by the Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach City College and CSULB was designed to ensure the success of students enrolled in preschool through Ph.D., and to revitalize the city’s well-being and economic outlook. Since then, the nationally recognized initiative has been copied elsewhere, and the city as well as its public education institutions are seeing significant improvements.
The university has turned into a go-to school. With nearly 100,000 applicants, the seventh-highest number nationwide, “it could admit a class composed entirely of students with 24-karat credentials” from far beyond Long Beach, Kirp wrote. Instead, CSULB has remained committed to accepting local students, “and those students are likelier to graduate than their classmates from outside the region.”